Taking a significant step forward in continuing to promote equitable access to healthcare and essential services through patient-centered interventions, Priority OnDemand has announced the launch of its Community Health Intervention Program (C.H.I.P.). The program, which will foster collaboration between dedicated social workers and EMS providers, made its debut in Augusta, Georgia, through Central EMS, a proud member of the Priority Ambulance Family of Companies.
The emergence of mobile healthcare solutions throughout the nation has created the foundation for EMS agencies and healthcare systems to provide better care for their communities with innovative solutions. Priority’s C.H.I.P. program will target patients who frequently call for emergency services but do not necessarily need transport to an emergency department or the level of care provided by EMS. The program will focus on proactive outreach, connectivity to vital resources, and enabling mobile healthcare providers to conduct regular home visits.
“We are excited to expand our patient care capabilities here in Augusta-Richmond County,” said Steve Blackburn, Chief Operating Officer for Priority OnDemand. “Our focus is delivering the right care to the right patient at the right time regardless of socio-economic status. C.H.I.P. will help continue to bridge that gap, ensuring that underserved communities receive the care they deserve. Providing patients with the most appropriate level of care will help ensure that the entire health system and dedicated healthcare resources are used as efficiently as possible, providing better healthcare to all.”
The C.H.I.P. Program is modeled after MedStar’s High Utilizer Group (HUG) Program in Fort Worth, Texas, which targets patients who use 911, 15 or more times within a 90-day period, or who are referred into the program by an Emergency Department or payer case manager. Regular home visits are conducted, with staff evaluating Social Determinants of Health and connecting patients to available resources in addition to educating patients on better health management. Since the HUG program’s implementation, ambulance transports to the emergency department have greatly reduced, saving millions of dollars in healthcare expenditures.
Priority’s project team consulted with the Ft. Worth HUG team in developing Augusta’s C.H.I.P. program. The Program’s social workers also spent time in Ft. Worth as part of their initial training.
The Central EMS C.H.I.P. team will conduct home visits to individuals participating in the C.H.I.P. program to assess the patient’s needs and connect the individual with the right resources. This hands-on approach will better help provide patients with personalized attention, guidance, and support in managing their healthcare journey.
As a critical liaison for various community programs, C.H.I.P. will work towards enhancing the accessibility of mental, physical, and overall health to the community. Until February 14, 2024, Central EMS is collecting new and gently used coats to provide warmth to those in need. Coats can be dropped off at Central EMS’s main offices located at 3827 Wrightsboro Road, Augusta, GA 30909.